Secret diary writer muses…

Hello dearly beloved!

Yesterday I went to an (excellent) round table discussion type thing run by an (excellent) international organisation called ECPAT (with excellent biscuits).

Over the last while, ECPAT have been researching the issue of trafficking for forced marriage in young people. This is not to say that all forced marriages involve trafficking, rather there are a large number of occasions where the two issues collide. I will get back to what they found next week as it is jolly interesting.

So, here’s the thing, there were a couple of comments made during the session that I found particularly interesting and one in particular I would like to open for debate….

We at STOP THE TRAFFIK try to avoid statistics as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, they can be useful but don’t mean anything – numbers cannot be trafficked and exploited.

Numbers do however seem to be important to those in power and those making big decisions.

A recent study on racism in rural England found that there were a few instances of extreme racist behaviour. I believe it was either a reporter or politician who then said something along the lines of ‘yeah, but the numbers are small, they are insignificant’.

So my wondering is this: where’s the line? At what point do people take notice, when do governments – and even us as community members – feel responsibility to step in?

Over the time scale of their project, ECPAT found 48 instances of trafficking for forced marriage in the UK.


Now, 48 isn’t hundreds but 48 is still 48. Does 48 require money and resources and law changes?

Would 4 be enough to get our attention and money or would we be more likely to care if it was 408? Does it matter? Would it matter if there were 1, 10 or 1000 people if they were being hurt and abused? If there were 10000000 would we become desensitised and be so overwhelmed that we see it as a losing battle and an eventuality that cannot be changed? Who draws the number line? Is there such thing as a number line? What do you think about the number line? Why does my head hurt?

Please discuss (not the bit about my head, the bit about numbers)


2 thoughts on “Secret diary writer muses…

  1. Suzy

    Hi, I personally think that every single life matters – if there was ONE person trafficked in the world… it wud b URGENT to rescue & rehab that person.
    However…. I do think that ppl listen when huge numbers r quoted… statements such as:

    * More than 700,000 women, children and men are trafficked across borders every year into forced labour and sex slavery…
    * Trafficking is….. the FASTEST growing crime in the world. At least one person is sold across an international border every minute.
    * Trafficking is….making £700 per second, or over £20billion a year. That’s MORE than Microsoft and twice as much as Coco Cola.

    Its sad that stats matter but to me every life matters! The above kinda statements catch the attention of ppl.

    Thx for all ur work always

  2. miriam

    well, i think people should be careful. if you draw a line somewhere it might work against you – if you were campaigning for something that only affected 48 people, no one would listen because you had said that was insignificant. therefore they need to be careful. its like saying ‘kids are not as important as adults’ – then you start going into ‘men are better than women’ and ‘this race is better than this race’. you have to be careful you are not one step away from something really serious happening.

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